Adlib, a new textile revolution
© Gemma Marchena

Slow fashion, artisanry and sustainability mark the signature Ibizan style.

White, of course, is Ibiza’s emblematic colour. It characterizes the island’s charming traditional houses as well as the Adlib fashion style. Indeed, Ibiza is quite aptly called the White Island. The Adlib style may be said to be the banner of this sublime corner of the Mediterranean and it is even used as a symbol to promote Ibiza at trade shows. Cloth of the purest cotton is combined in dresses with lace and tulle, transparencies and guipure, demonstrating that the garment is the message. Ibiza is fashion –a fashion signifying much more than whiteness: it means freedom. But it is also an industry that upholds the principles of hand-crafted quality and responsible consumption.

Since 1971, Adlib Moda Ibiza has paraded the craftsmanship that arose as a lifestyle. It began when the hippies took up the traditional apparel of Ibizan women and turned it into a trend that became a synonym of freedom. Ibizan fashion is much more than beach garments, however. It is an island-made sustainable style of clothing that is worn on red carpets and stands out in bridal fashion with the seal of the most exclusive haute couture.

The Adlib fashion show, which ran from 2 to 5 May in 2019, has now been held a total of 48 times. It is an unquestionably major event on the island, bringing together over 4,000 people on this last occasion. This year the show featured a number of important novelties because it is a style that is open to world trends, requiring several days to show the whole versatile range of Ibizan fashion.

For its part, Futur Adlib opened the big Ibizan fashion week as the platform of the island’s new creative talents. It presented the exciting proposals of six young Balearic designers who rivalled for the event’s first prize, won by the imaginative Natalia Martínez Nieto with her ‘Catalina’ collection. The Art School of Ibiza paraded its designs, as did Alfonso Sánchez, winner of Futur Adlib 2017,  Rebeca Ramis, and Patricia Richtsteiger, winner of the previous edition of Futur Adlib. 

The 3rd and 4th of May were devoted to pure avant-garde Adlib, presenting the fashion parades of 21 brands with proposals marked by sensual and romantic lines, featuring the mark of this style’s exclusivity and hand-crafted excellence. It was a unique chance to get the first look at the new creations of Beatrice San Francisco, BSF Man, World Family Ibiza, Linnea Ibiza, Evitaloquepuedas, Elin Ritter, Félix Ramiro, Ibiza Stones, Marisa Cela, Ichiana Ibiza, Virginia Bald, Tony Bonet, Ibimoda, Piluca Bayarri, Ivanna Mestres and Vintage Ibiza. The stunning jewels were by Elisa Pomar, Majoral and Isabel Guarch, while the accessories were designs of Espardenyes Torres, Dolors Miró Senallons and S72 Hat.

The Adlib family keeps growing and Sunday, 5th May was the time for the Natural Adlib models. Nine different designers showed their most organic, artisanal, ergonomic and sustainable proposals. To this creative wealth is added the firm intention of enhancing users’ quality of life. Maximum comfort is ensured, with crafted garments based on ecology, fair commerce, and a commitment to environmental enhancement. Nine labels endorsed this seal of quality, parading on the last day of the Adlib fashion show: Monika Maxim Ibiza, K de Kose-Jose Privée, Trinidades Ibiza, La Brisa Ibiza, Estrivancus, Ángela Martín, Belén Boheme, Tanit Jean Ibiza and Etikology

The Adlib show reflects the creative wealth of Ibizan fashion. After almost half a century of activity, it highlighted once again the spirit with which Princess Smilja championed traditional apparel, making it a banner of freedom. It is a free, artistic, cultural spirit to which is now added an environmental commitment. Adlib moves ahead with its rallying cry: “Wear what you want, but do it with style!”. And also with awareness.

Almost half a century of history
Straw hats, espadrilles, shawls... Traditional Ibizan apparel won the heart of the hippies who made their way to the island in the 1970s. The Ibiza Fashion Week was born in 1971 and artists and people from abroad fell in love with the artisanal garments of the Ibizan women. José Colomar coined the original name “Ad libitum”, meaning “freely”, and the Yugoslavian princess  Smilja became the global ambassador of a style advocating a free, sensual, natural and authentic woman. The colour white, artisanal embroideries, light fabrics and soft shapes allowed women’s bodies to move. With this fashion, thousands of Ibizan women achieved financial independence, bringing about an industrial boom. Today, this freedom and creativity remain intact.

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